Emergency Medical Care Returns to Sequatchie County

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 7/29 6:40 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - Its been almost 5 years, but Dunlap is finally getting its hospital back.
Sequatchie county has had to rely on long ambulance trips and Life Force for emergency care since Grandview Medical Center pulled out in 2009.
Now, a deal with Erlanger may be an economic boost as well.

DWAIN LAND, DUNLAP MAYOR "It's going to save somebody's life ...But the main thing after that life-saving is now, the economic growth in this town is going to boom."

The Sequatchie valley is one of the most beautiful places in the country, but if the community doesn't have health services, businesses and retirees go somewhere else.
With the arrival of Erlanger executives by Life Force for a formal ceremony, all that changed for the residents of this Tennessee Valley bedroom community.

KEVIN SPIEGEL, CEO, ERLANGER HEALTH SYSTEM "We came together, they found external funding...and they funded this whole entire project for Erlanger,which is a very important thing to get it going."

The hospital will bring employment to 50-60 people.

KEITH CARTWRIGHT, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, SEQUATCHIE CO. "...health services is a cornerstone for any small community.If you don't have adequate health services you can't attract retirement folks....you know our retirement community..the
county reaps the benefit of them."

Cartwright says the county received a grant of 250-thousand dollars from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and used 250-thousand from a revolving credit fund the county has.
The goal is to immediately attract more industry that had been going to areas with better medical care.

MAYOR DWAIN LAND, DUNLAP "Now, as we've been growing ..We're one of the three fastest growing cities percentage wise in the last 10 years...now with this we better be number one."

KEITH CARTWRIGHT "We threw that money into the mix and got Erlanger's attention because we have a true need here in the county ..they came over and recognized that need and here we are today."

The new Erlanger facility will join with Puckett EMS to also serve Pikeville and Bledsoe county.
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